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					                                                         Violets (Viola odorata)
 Safety Reminder
                                                         Johnny-jump-ups (Viola tricolor)
 Be careful not to pick flowers exposed to pesticides
 or those growing by the roadside. Also, be cautious
                                                         Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana)
                                                                          These three low-growing violas grow
 if you have hay fever, asthma, or allergies.
                                                                          in sun or shade in fertile, moist, well-
                                                                          drained soil. They bloom best in cool
 From Garden to Kitchen
                                                                          weather. Violets are hardy perenni-


                                                                                                                                               Edible
 Harvest flowers in the morning after the dew has
                                                                          als that can be divided and moved
 evaporated. Choose flowers at their peak for best
                                                         around the garden. Johnny-jump-ups and pansies are
 flavor. Put long-stemmed flowers in water and
                                                         annuals. They are typically purchased as transplants


                                                                                                                                              Flowers
 keep in a cool place. Use short-stemmed blossoms
                                                         in garden centers and planted in the garden in early
 within a few hours of harvest or store between
                                                         spring. Johnny-jump-ups often reseed. Violas have
 layers of damp paper toweling or in a plastic bag
                                                         a sweet, wintergreen or perfumed flavor. Use petals
 in the refrigerator. Just before using, gently wash
                                                         to color butter. Float flowers in punch, use in fruit
 flowers, checking thoroughly for insects and soil.
                                                         salads, or candy for decorating cakes and pies.
                                              Pistil

 For Best Flavor                              Stigma
                                              Style
 Remove the stamens                           Ovary

 and pistils from                                        For more information
 flowers. Also Stamen                                    Horticultural information is available from your local
 remove the      Anther
                                                         Iowa State University Extension office and from these
                 Filament
 sepals (except                                          Web sites.
 on pansies, violas, and
 Johnny-jump-ups, in                                     ISU Extension Distribution Center—
 which they add flavor).                     Sepal       www.extension.iastate.edu/store
                                                         ISU Horticulture—
 To Dry Edible Flowers
                                                         www.yardandgarden.extension.iastate.edu
 Some flowers dry well, while others lose their fla-
 vor. Check by drying a small sample before drying       Reiman Gardens—
 an entire crop. Gather flowers in early morning         www.reimangardens.iastate.edu
 before the sun shines on them. Hang upside
 down by the stems in a dark, well-ventilated area.
 (Flowers without stems can be dried on a fine           Prepared by Richard Jauron, extension horticulturist; Juliana
 screen.) Once dry, label and store in an air-tight      Beiwel, former horticulture intern; Linda Naeve, former
 container in a cool, dark place.                        extension horticulturist; and Diane Nelson, extension
                                                         communication specialist. Illustrations by Mark Müller.


Roses (Rosa species)                                     File: Hort and LA 2-1
           Flower size, fragrance, and flavor vary       Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and
                                                         June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Jack
           among the many rose species and varieties.    M. Payne, director, Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University of
                                                         Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa.
           Generally the flowers of the older types,
           such as rugosa roses, are the most flavor-    . . . and justice for all
                                                         The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all
           ful. Roses need full sun and a rich, well-    its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gen-
                                                         der, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital
           drained soil. They usually require regular    or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Many
           watering, fertilizing, and pruning. Roses     materials can be made available in alternative formats for ADA clients. To
                                                         file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of Civil Rights, Room
have a perfumed taste. Pick off the petals and remove    326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington,
                                                         DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964. 1/08
the whitish, bitter base. Add to salads or make jelly.
                                                                                           RG 302 Revised November 2005
The ancient Romans cultivated roses, violets, and             bitter flavor and are valued mostly for their color.       Daylily blossoms have a sweet flavor, especially the
borage for culinary use. Today, edible flowers are a          Use petals in salads, soups, butter, rice, stews, poul-    pale yellows and oranges. Use in salads or as gar-
popular way to add color, texture, scent, and flavor to       try, or in tea (use same proportions as for bee balm).     nishes. Float in punch bowls for decoration or stuff
foods. Following is a list of some edible flowers, their      It is sometimes used as a saffron substitute. Dry indi-    with soft cheeses for an appetizer. Dried daylily
culture, and suggested uses.                                  vidual petals on paper (petals shouldn’t touch each        petals are an important ingredient in Chinese sweet
                                                              other); store in a moisture-tight container.               and sour soup.
Bee balm (Monarda didyma)
                The uniquely shaped, white, pink, red,        Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)                            Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana)
                or purple flowers add color and interest                   Finely-cut foliage and daisy-like flow-                     These long-blooming annuals have
                to flower beds, foods, and beverages.                      ers are features of this 2­- to 3-foot-tall                 glossy foliage and are available in a
                Blooms appear in July and August on                        annual. Its sweet, apple fragrance and                      variety of flower colors, including
                plants that are 2­ to 4 feet in height. Bee                taste make chamomile popular as a tea.                      bicolors. Flowers may be single or
                balm thrives in a variety of light and                     Chamomile grows in full sun to partial        double. Impatiens grow in shade to part sun in a
soil conditions, but prefers a sunny location with rich,                   shade and prefers a sandy, well-drained       moist, organic soil. Indoors, place plants in a sunny
moist soil. Space plants 2­ feet apart because bee balm                    soil. It blooms from late spring through      window or under artificial lighting. The flowers
spreads rapidly. Remove spent flowers to extend the           late summer. Sow seed in spring. Once established, it      have a sweet flavor and can be used as a garnish,
bloom period. Bee balm flowers have a citrus, minty           will reseed itself. To make chamomile tea, harvest the     in salads, or floated in drinks.
flavor. Use in salads, as garnishes, or more tradition-       flowers when the petals begin to droop. Add 1 cup
ally, to make bee balm tea. Use 2­ tablespoons chopped        boiling water for each 3 to 4 teaspoons fresh flowers      Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
fresh flowers (or 1 tablespoon dried flowers) for 4 cups      (1 to 2­ teaspoons dried flowers). Cover and steep for                    This widely planted shrub grows to
water, steep for 5 to 10 minutes, strain, and serve.          3 minutes, strain, and serve. (Individuals who are                        15 feet in height and puts on a colorful,
                                                              sensitive to ragweed should use caution when drink-                       fragrant display in early spring. Lilacs
Borage (Borago officinalis)                                   ing this tea.)                                                            perform best in well-drained soils in
                 This 2­- to 3-foot-tall annual has blue,                                                                               full sun. Remove spent flower heads to
                 star-shaped flowers in midsummer.            Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)                                             encourage heavy bloom the following
                 Sow seeds in spring in a sunny loca-                     Lavender-pink flowers appear on this           spring. Some lilacs have a perfumed, floral taste that
                 tion. The soil should be light, rich,                    perennial in June. Regular picking en-         lends itself to many uses. Try it with vanilla yogurt
                 and well-aerated. After germination,                     courages repeat blooms. Harvest flowers        or candied as a cake or pie decoration.
thin the seedlings so the plants are 2­ feet apart. Borage                when they are just beginning to open.
readily reseeds itself once established. Borage can be                    Chives grow in full sun to part shade.         Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
grown indoors in a south window with plenty of mois-                      They prefer a moist, well-drained soil                        This 12­-inch-tall annual has richly
ture and ample root space. Borage flowers have a crisp,       and may attain a height of 18 inches. Chive flowers                       colored red, orange, and yellow flow-
cucumber flavor. Use in salads or as garnishes. Float         have a mild onion flavor. Break apart the florets and                     ers from midsummer until the first
in drinks or freeze in ice cubes. Use candied flowers to      add to salads, cooked vegetables, casseroles, cheese                      frost. The leaves have a distinctive
decorate cakes, pastries, and desserts. Borage does not       dishes, eggs, potatoes, or cream cheese. Chive flow-                      round shape. Sow seed 1/2­ inch deep
dry well. If eaten in large quantities, borage can have a     ers do not dry well.                                       in early spring. Plants produce the most flowers in
diuretic effect.                                                                                                         full sun. Avoid fertilization. Plants in highly fertile
                                                              Daylilies (Hemerocallis species)                           soils produce lush foliage but few flowers. If grow-
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)                                         These easy-to-grow perennials vary in          ing nasturtiums indoors in a south window, fertilize
               Also known as pot marigold, this annu-                     height from 10 to 36 inches. Depend-           with half-strength houseplant fertilizer once a
               al produces pale yellow to deep orange                     ing on the cultivar, daylilies bloom           month, water sparingly, and use a coarse, porous
               flowers atop erect, 18-inch stems. Plants                  from early summer to frost in shades of        potting mix. Nasturtium flowers have a pep-
               bloom from late spring to midsummer,                       yellow, orange, red, and pink. Plant in        pery, zesty taste that can substitute for mustard in
               then decline in hot weather. Sow seed in                   full sun to part shade. Daylilies tolerate     sandwiches. Add to salads or cure in vinegar. They
               early spring in full sun and well-drained      many soil types but prefer well-drained soils that are     make an attractive garnish on a plate or add color
soil; repeat in early July for a fall harvest. Thin plants    high in organic matter. Divide clumps every three to       when petals are added to butter.
to 12­ inches apart. Calendula flowers have a slightly        five years.